As expected, Cal won several Pac-12 titles this past weekend with both sexes of crew and track and field in action. What was a surprise was who.
Cal Men’s Track and Field - 4th as a team
From the historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. Cal men’s track and field surprised by scoring 79 points to finish 5th as a team. Oregon won the conference title as expected, but the Golden Bears nearly overtook distance powerhouse (perennial cross country contenders and winners) Colorado for 4th place (LA schools finished 2nd and 3rd).
As mentioned in my Golden Medals post from last Friday, Bears started the meet well with a 3rd place finish by Tyler Brendel in the decathlon last weekend. Bears then added a surprise victory on Saturday in shot put as Peter Simon on his last throw set a personal best of 64-9.25.
Less of a surprise may be the 110m hurdle conference title by Ashtyn Davis, who is also a defensive back on Cal Football. Davis is now 7 for 7 on the year in 110m hurdle finals. Davis also won the indoor 60m hurdle title back in February. In his win on Sunday, Davis set a personal record of 13.50, good for 3rd best time in Cal history.
In addition to these two wins, Bears came close in several other events. Here are all the Bears who scored points.
- Trent Brendel (brother of Tyler) was 2nd in the 10,000 meter (29:20.52)
- Thomas Joyce was 3rd in the 1500 meters (3:55.58)
- Tyler Brendel was 3rd in the decathlon
- Connor Meech was 4th in the 400 meters hurdles (51.76) while Paramveer Chohan was 8th (54.53)
- McKay Johnson was 4th in the shot put
- Takeshi Okada (8:59.66) and Max Leach (9:04.33) were 5th and 6th, respectively, in the 3000 meter steeplechase
- Malik McMorris (a familiar name from Cal Football) was 5th in the discus (177-0) while McKay Johnson was 7th (174-2)
- Karsten Wethington was 6th in the triple jump (49-1.50w)
- Josh Lewis was 7th in the 800 meters (1:50.54)
- 4x100 meter relay team was 7th
- 4x400 meter relay team was 8th (had the Bears bested Colorado in this event, they would have finished 4th)
Cal Women’s Track and Field - 9th as a team
The Cal women finished 9th with a total of 45 points. There were no individual Pac-12 titles for the women, but several of them did came close - Bears had 5 3rd place finishes.
- Bethan Knights placed 3rd in 10,000 meter (33:30.13)
- Ilse Kaaja was 3rd in the hammer (200-7), PR
- Ashley Anderson was 3rd in the triple jump (42-11), PR
- In a bit of a surprise (particularly to the commentators for challenging UW), Lauren Martinez was 3rd in the pole vault (13-6.25)
- Kendall Mader was 3rd in the discus (167-2)
- Rebecca Croft (2:06.34) and Jordyn Colter (2:06.44) were 5th and 6th, respectively, in the 800 meter
- 4x100 meter relay team was 4th
- 4x400 meter relay team finished 6th with a season best time
Cal Men’s Crew - 2nd as a team
Defending Pac-12 champs California Crew was not able to extend their conference title streak on Sunday morning as the Washington Huskies bested the Bears. Pac-12 Networks will have the tape delayed action of this championship next Saturday.
There were other teams involved, but all the races came down to either Cal or Washington in the 1st and 2nd places.
The championship started with a Cal victory by the freshman 8 boat, just ahead of Washington. Washington returned the favor in the 3rd Varsity 8 race, leading the entire way; Bears took 2nd. In the 2nd Varsity 8 race, Bears had an early lead (a 4 seat lead at the quarterway point), but UW surged ahead through the middle of the race. Bears couldn’t catch up in their last quarter surge.
In the decisive Varsity 8 race, Cal again had an early lead only to see the Huskies surge ahead in the middle of the 2000 meter race.
Washington also won over the Bears in the non-scoring Varsity 4 race.
1. Washington 72
2. California 65
3. Oregon State 50
4. Stanford 49
5. UCLA 34
6. Colorado 22
T7. Oregon 19
T7. Washington State 19
Bears had defeated the Huskies up in Seattle few weeks ago. They returned the favor at Lake Natoma (in Sacramento) on Sunday. This set up a decisive third meeting at the IRA Championship at the same Lake Natoma location on June 2-4.
Again, the key “team national championship) for men’s crew will be the result of the Varsity 8 race. Nonetheless, a team total point trophy is also awarded. Cal broke a 5 year Washington streak last year by claiming both the IRA national championship (Varsity 8 race) and the team total point national championship. It will, no doubt, be another exciting race between Cal and Washington for the national title comes June 4th.
ROW ON YOU BEARS!
Cal Women’s Crew - 2nd as a team
Defending Pac-12 and NCAA champion Cal Women’s Crew had to settle for 2nd place behind Washington Huskies as well.
Despite the win by the Cal Varsity 8 over Washington up in Seattle for the Simpson Cup weeks ago, the Washington Huskies had been ranked No.1 in the country ahead of the No.2 Bears coming into the weekend’s Pac-12 Championship.
Washington Huskies bested the Golden Bears in every event on Sunday morning, from the non-scoring Freshman 8 to 3rd Varsity 8, Varsity 4, 2nd Varsity 8, and the pivotal Varsity 8. This was the first loss of the season for the Cal Varsity 8 boat.
Fantastic fight by the Bears, but Washington finishes 1st in the Varsity 8.— Cal Women's Crew (@CalWCrew) May 14, 2017
Huskies win the 2017 Pac-12 Championship, Cal comes in second pic.twitter.com/yLJZZN0s96
1. Washington 45.5
2. California 39
3. Stanford 31.5
4. Washington State 23.5
5. USC 16
6. UCLA 14
7. Oregon State 11
In the NCAA Championship to be raced in Lake Mercer in New Jersey from May 26-28, only the Varsity 4, 2nd Varsity 8, and Varsity 8 results will matter. Bears will likely battle Washington for the national title although Ohio State and Michigan may also be in the mix.
ROW ON YOU BEARS!
Congratulations to the latest Cal Pac-12 champions!
With a huge PR on his final attempt (64-9.25), Peter Simon is your Pac-12 men's shot put champion - Cal's first in the event since 1981. pic.twitter.com/jNj1hryscC— Cal Track & Field (@Cal_Track) May 13, 2017